It’s Spotlight Tuesday, where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding vendors and share the stories behind these companies who help Wedding Venue Map couples have their best wedding day.
Hiring the right wedding vendors is so important on your wedding day, they make your dreams a reality.
It gives us great pleasure to introduce this week’s venue spotlight, Sandy Rubin of Sandy Rubin Jewelry.
When people ask “what do you do?” how do you answer?
I generally tell people that I’m a jewelry designer; I think a lot of times people don’t really know what to think since it’s a pretty broad title. It’s always fun to watch their expression when they see our jewelry for the first time or realize that we make fine jewelry. I don’t think I’m what they expect a jeweler to be a lot of times.
What did you do before you did this?
I worked in advertising in NYC for five years for various different networks. I always made jewelry on the side, either before or after work, and oftentimes ran jewelry-related errands in the Diamond District during lunch breaks. I realized that it was the jewelry that was driving me and not my day job, so I made it a goal to dive in full time and reached that goal a few years back.
When and how did you get into the wedding industry?
I first got into the wedding industry when my best friend’s boyfriend approached me to make her engagement ring. Diamond and fine jewelry are very different than anything I had done before and I made the promise to create this ring without knowing from experience that I could. I have always believed where there is a will, there is most definitely a way. I’m glad to say that they’re happily married and she and I are still friends!
How long would you say you’ve been doing what you do today?
I began making jewelry in 2005 with simple beading and wire techniques but always felt limited that I could only work with elements that already existed. In 2009, I scraped up enough money to take a few metalsmithing and wax carving classes and was super aggressive about approaching vendors in the Diamond District to take me on as a protege. I mostly did bridal party jewelry since I was a bridesmaid 10+ times. It sort of just came naturally and that progressed into commitment jewelry and bespoke.
How did your work evolve to get you to where you are today?
I find a lot of connections with our relationships and jewelry making and celebrate the nuances of both with our alternative bridal collection. For example, a diamond that is included is considered a flaw and often times less desirable. However, these flaws are what make each gemstone unique and interesting, and the same goes for our relationships. Taking that a step further, whenever a gemstone is set into metal, it finds a very delicate balance of tension with the stone pushing against the metal and the metal against the stone to find it’s own harmony where each element can coexist securely.
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
I absolutely love working with our clientele. My absolute favorite is when I have a customer that doesn’t identify with being creative or seems initially overwhelmed with the diamond buying process. I really enjoy taking the time to help people understand what they’re buying, guiding them towards their options, and seeing the expression on their faces when they see the completed piece for the first time.
What’s the best part of your job?
I have always been a rock nerd and absolutely love sourcing our gemstones. Each one of our gemstones is hand-selected and I am very heavily involved in that process.
What motivates you to do this every day?
It’s always a new challenge, whether it’s working to understand what a client wants or figuring out the best approach for each bespoke piece of jewelry. I’m so proud to say that, to date, I have never had a customer walk away without a smile from their purchase. I attribute that to being dedicated to our customers and don’t plan to change it any time soon!
What fun fact would people be surprised to learn about you?
This past spring, I took a month to drive cross-country solo and discovered the world of rock-hounding. I traveled state-by-state to dig up different specimens of gemstones and hope to incorporate them into our jewelry in the future. It was the most amazing experience, as I camped alone and kept a very loose guideline of where I was traveling to next. It was the most incredible experience and I’m so thankful that I was able to do it.
What is the best compliment you’ve received from your clients?
I absolutely love it when our customers send pictures from their wedding or share their proposal stories. It’s so special to be a small part of such a huge event in your lives and we are so appreciative of the opportunity.
How did you decide on the name of your company?
I settled on my name as a temporary solution as I didn’t really know what my business would become and thought my name was a constant.
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
It all starts with a conversation. I will never push a product or service that doesn’t work for you which is, unfortunately, something we see too often in the jewelry industry. If our jewelry isn’t your preferred style, we will happily work with you to create a bespoke piece of jewelry tailored specifically to your tastes.
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
A lot of our business comes from our custom clients. I think we’re unique in the sense that we can create a piece of jewelry to suit virtually any aesthetic or style.
What types of events do you specialize in?
In the past, I have hosted Beads & Booze events where you can make your own jewelry in a casual environment while sipping on some tasty adult beverages. These events are special because they are pretty lax and everyone walks away with something they love!
What makes your business stand out from others in your category?
The jewelry industry is historically very saturated with one sect of the industry now focusing on what’s called “Alternative Bridal.” Our jewelry would most definitely fall under this category, as we work with a lot of included gemstones or less commercial cuts for a more unique look and we strive to bring warmth back into jewelry.
Tell us about your favorite type of engaged couple.
Each couple and their dynamic is so unique and interesting. I love it when I get to work with both parties as I’m usually approached by one. This usually happens when we get to create wedding bands for a client.
Couples hire us because they’re looking for an inviting experience. Most engagement ring buying is fairly rushed or pushed or lacking in information. The couple that hires us will appreciate working to create a beautiful piece of jewelry that is unique and special to them.
Tell us briefly about some of your package options. What is the price range for these packages?
We offer discounts on wedding bands and bridal party jewelry to anyone who bought their engagement ring from us and offer sparkly incentives for referrals. Each ring or package ring is very different. We always do our best to work within the parameters of your budget and have engagement rings starting at $1200 in our collection.
Why do you think your business is successful?
I think it’s an interesting time in our society where people are moving slowly away from mass consumption and moving more towards a tailored experience. It falls along the whole minimalist movement where we don’t want to be governed by the things that we own and where less means so much more.
Sandy Rubin Jewelry shares some helpful information for engaged couples…..
What are the most common questions you get asked by brides and/or grooms?
I am often asked if I do all the work myself. Each project has its own parameters and guidelines and I let this information dictate the best approach to creating your jewelry. We have a small and trusted team of jewelers and vendors that all work closely together to make your special ring or jewelry.
What current trends have you seen at weddings that personally like the most?
I love the loose and organic floral bouquets that you see now and really admire how each wedding really reflects the personalities of the couple. It gets me every time.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about your vendor category?
I think people come in thinking they need to really negotiate the price. It really depends where you are buying and how. I don’t believe in the whole “yell and sell” for our jewelry and will never inflate prices so they can be negotiated later.